We live in exciting times. We have over the last few years seen the birth of a new telecommunications service which will fundamentally change the way we live, much as the telephone has over the last 100 years. The birth of the Internet can be traced back to a conference on computer communications held in 1972. As a result of that conference a working group was set up, under the chairmanship of Vint Cerf, to propose new protocols to facilitate computer communications. In 1974 the working group published the transmission control protocol (fCP) and the Interworking protocol (lP). These were rapidly adopted and the number of computers linked using these protocols has almost doubled every year since. Thus the Internet was born. Another major step happened in 1990. Tim Berners Lee, a Scottish nuclear physicist working at CERN, created some higher level protocols. These still used TCP/IP for the networking, but defined how computers could communicate multimedia information and be linked together to form a World Wide Web of information. A number of computer databases adopted these protocols and things really took off in 1993 when Marc Andreesen at the University of Illinois developed Mosaic, the first client software (a browser) that gave a windows-style interface to these databases.